Listen&Learn: The Silk Road

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the historic trade routes across Eurasia.

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • network: a system of pathways
  • silk: a fabric made from silkworm fibres
  • commodity: something that can be sold
  • merchant: a person who sells or trades goods
  • gunpowder: a substance used in guns and explosives
  • the Black Death: a deadly plague pandemic that took place in the 14th century

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Silk Road was an trade network that allowed people to transport goods across Eurasia. It gained its name because silk was one of the most commodities traded on its routes. Merchants who travelled along the Silk Road also traded horses, spices, , and gunpowder. However, people didn’t only trade goods on the Silk Road. The consistent travelling between countries caused the spread of , including Christianity and Buddhism. Journeys along the Silk Road also may have caused the spread of the Black Death. The use of the Silk Road began during the Han Dynasty in China, and continued until the mid-15th century. By then, the Ottoman Empire was making it difficult to travel from Europe to Asia, which caused to look for different routes through the sea.

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The Silk Road was
    a. a landmark
    b. a military route
    c. a trade network
  2. The use of the Silk Road began during
    a. the Black Death pandemic
    b. the Han Dynasty in China
    c. the rise of the Ottoman Empire
  3. Merchants stopped using the Silk Road during
    a. the 14th century
    b. the 15th century
    c. the 16th century

Discussion/essay questions

  1. How has the spread of ideas changed since the Silk Road? What are some of the effects of information being widely available?

Transcript

The Silk Road was an ancient trade network that allowed people to transport goods across Eurasia. It gained its name because silk was one of the most popular commodities traded on its routes. Merchants who travelled along the Silk Road also traded horses, spices, tea, weapons, and gunpowder. However, people didn’t only trade goods on the Silk Road. The travelling between countries caused the spread of religion, including Christianity and Buddhism. Journeys along the Silk Road also may have caused the spread of the Black Death. The use of the Silk Road began during the Han Dynasty in China, and continued until the mid-15th century. By then, the Ottoman Empire was making it difficult to travel from Europe to Asia, which caused explorers to look for different routes through the sea. 

Answers to comprehension questions

1c 2b 3b

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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